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Appearances discussion

1 JFirst impressions
It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances. The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the invisible. Oscar Wilde
Fact: People form 90% of their opinion of someone in the first 90 seconds. What conclusions con you draw from the following information? a A man who wears an earring in one ear. b A woman with an earring in her nose. c A man with a beard or moustache. d A woman who wears heavy make-up. e A 60-year-old man with long hair. f Someone who wears lots of jewellery. g Someone who's always laughing. h Someone who bites their nails. i Someone who has tattoos.

2 Beauty and the beast

4 Do most people overestimate or underestimate their own beauty? 5 What influence does someone's physical appearance have on their personality? And vice versa? 6 Is beauty only a physical quality? Aristotle said that beauty was a greater recommendation than any letter of Introduction. Which of the following do you agree with? If you're good-looking you're more likely to: 7 have a pleasant personality and have more friends. 8 study humanistic/artistic subjects. 9 be treated more leniently if you're in the wrong. 10 get a job with higher status. 11 find a partner and get married. 12 be generally happier.

3 Make-up
1 Why do people wear make-up? How do you feel with and without make-up on? 2 hlow much time do you spend on making yourself up, or on your appearance in general? 3 Do you think you look better with a sun tan? What are the dangers? 4 Why don't men usually wear make-up? If it were socially acceptable would more men wear it? 5 Do you wear perfume or after-shave? Why?

Interesting facts University professors often give good-looking girls better marks in exams; male students tend to overestimate the intellectual qualities of pretty female students. In court cases attractive people get lighter sentences, unless they made conscious use of their beauty to get their own ends, in which case they might be more severely punished. Attractive people are seen by others as having a better personality, higher status, more likelihood of getting married, and being happier. Beautiful girls rarely become scientists; they tend to choose subjects such as languages, law and medicine. Women who have beautiful bodies often have less self confidence they worry too much about keeping their body perfect. Short men are less likely to get jobs than tall men and they receive lower starting salaries. In US presidential elections, the taller candidate nearly always wins. There may even be a connection between height and intelligence, as it seems that the same genes are involved in both aspects.